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“No. I’m never gonna miss this place. I’m gonna miss this chocolate though. It’s only found here isn’t?” she said, munching on her chocolate stick.
“Yeah, a local brand. They fill generous amount of chocolate into it!” Ria smiled in satisfaction as she nibbled her’s.
They heard the church bells ringing as they walked lazily on a gentle downhill. Late evening walk was one thing they liked doing the most after a tiring day. Five to six hours of classes everyday was tough to bear. Those walks on the cleanest and the smoothest roads in India, admist the greenery and peace, used to be stress busters for them.
“The angel bells!” Ria closed her eyes in contemplation. She had done her schooling from a Christian convent and carried it’s ethics in her blood.
Chhaya had never been in a Christian vicinity before. Hence the two years of her Btech life had been interesting as she learnt about a completely different community then her’s. They were in a place where seventy percent population was Christian.
Walking, they reached the lake side-the most beautiful spot of their campus. On the other side of the lake was the Multiuse convention hall. It faced away from the lake. The lake reflected the light from the hall. Ria played Chhaya’s favourite, “Yellow” by Coldplay on her cellphone. Dusk was over and night had fallen by then.
“Look at the stars, look how they shine for you…” they both looked up at the full moon as they duetted.
A lazy spring evening, a full moon at the edge of the lake with your best mate, contemplating life. What could be more serene!
“I wish I was Elsa from Frozen. I would’ve turned the water into ice and would’ve danced on it…watching the reflection of my steps. Wouldn’t it have been like dancing on a mirror? Or like dancing among the stars it reflects? Imagine walking on it Ria, it would feel like the whole world is upside down! You will just walk on it effortlessly like an ant on the ceiling.”
She picked up a stone and threw it into the lake. It created ripples with edges glistening like some shiny metal.
“I wish I was a paperboat and these ripples would’ve taken me to the hall. I wish I was a shadow. I would’ve walked my way to the hall…”
“You are a shadow Chhaya” joked Ria as she gestured double qoutes around the word Chhaya.
“Yes..I’m a chhaya. I’m a shadow…” she replied half awoken from her thoughts.
They stood there without saying a word, immersed into deep thoughts, sinking as deep as into the lake itself.
“Come on let’s go. It’s seven already. The guard won’t let us into the hostel.” Ria checked her phone.
“Huh…yeah..”Chhaya rose from her thoughts.
As they walked silently towards their hostel, Chhaya weeped “I’m going to miss this place”
“I know” said Ria as she spread her arms around her and smiled.
“You’ll be the one to miss it the most baby…”
Photo by: Mike Gildon Lyndem (one of my best mates)
Don’t love me because you hate her.
Love me like you would have done if you would’ve met me before her.
Love me only that much that I deserve to be. Not a way far more than that only because she left.
People leave and new ones enter into our lives, not necessarily to replace them but to acquire a new place in our hearts.
Understand that she and me are different persons.
Love me the way I would like to be loved, not the way you did to her.
And I will love you the way which I feel will keep you happy.
I won’t follow her footsteps.
I believe I can fly and the day I start, I will not stop.
My wings are black, the colour of the bold. And why not, when they tell me to be fearless?
They help me roam valiantly, carefree about the highly opinionated society.
They give me confidence,
And tell me to be brave and not be afraid of obstacles.
I’m bright, full of colours.
I am a beauty.
These colours give me hope.
They tell me to be as happy outside as I am inside.
They inspire me to be as beautiful in heart as I’m on face.
They encourage me to spread my colours throughout the world…
For my happiness is infectious and colour, diffusible.
- Floating like a balloon : I’m in a room, weightless and floating just as an astronaut does in space. I go up like a balloon horizontally facing downwards and as my back touches the ceiling, I rotate back and come down, just as a baby does inside the womb.
- Through the canal : I’m struggling, my way out or in (I don’t really understand) a large pipe or a canal like structure. It isn’t stiff and hard but is fleshy as if you are being swallowed by an anaconda. It’s difficult to breathe and it seems that I’ll die of suffocation. I’m lying down and crawling, one or two other people following me. It is just like an army training (in fact tougher!). I feel that the baby born normally would’ve had a similar experience during labour. Although no one obviously remembers how it was. But I don’t understand why I should have such a dream, because I was a caesarean baby.
- Falling from a height : I’m on a roof and walking. Suddenly it ends and before I realise I reach its edge and almost fall off. The dream gets over there because just as I’m going to fall, I kick into the air in reality ( again as a baby does inside the womb) and I’m awoken by the jerk of my own kick. This also happens when I dream of descending a staircase or anything involving body’s descending motion.
I saw him through the doorway, lecturing on topics too abstract for most of the world to understand. Yet he had pondered deep upon each of them and was confident enough to place his ideas infront of the world. Then there was so much more to know about him, I only knew one thing-at such a young age, he had been invited to the university conference week to talk about some contrasting and complicated subjects like theology, religious history, linguistics, mathematics and astronomy. He had to speak four days in the seminar. He was a genius.
Day one made me fall for his knowledge of subjects that few are interested in because of the terribly deep understanding and intellect that they require. As he explained about Vedic rituals, their physical aspects and scientific interpretations, he kept gesturing with his hands and I couldn’t help noticing his long fingers, holding a pen in an effortlessly firm and expert way. He was tall and lean, not the most handsome man I had seen. I attended each of his lectures. I learnt that he was a physicist and was working on connecting modern physics with theology. He had already published papers on his philosophies and was there to talk about it.
I made myself his student and then his devotee. Little did he know that his devoted student had become his stalker- obsessed with his talks, ideas, mind, body and soul. I used to follow him to his quater and stay there late till I watched him switch off the lights to sleep. Once in while I used to ring the bell with an excuse to be having a doubt in a topic just to get the smell of him. I was addicted to the faint smell of coffee and surf bodywash that he carried. His hands smelled of ink and old books which turned me on everytime he used to teach me in private. I realised I was starving all those years before I met him, since intelligent conversation was food for me. We made deep and good talks and I knew he liked me too.
I was happy and content until I found out about his fiancée. How could I loose him to a girl who didn’t even understand his subject? How could I bear him talking with a girl who didn’t even appreciate the knowledge he had? How could I watch him waste his time and energy in unproductive shits-roaming around shopping, dating and partying with that girl when he could use it to make intellectual conversations with me?
I killed her.
I have always liked mystery and thriller. I wanted to be a part of one. So I planned it myself and enjoyed every bit of it! I can be such a smooth criminal…
She wasn’t a thorn but one beautiful wild flower in my path which I removed painlessly. I was growing an Eden for myself and I did not want even a beautiful flaw there. So I murdered the flaw.
He was devastated. He needed me. I knew I could replace her, for the better. I knew she was not right for him. I tried telling him that. He refused to believe that but kept me company. I had become sure then, that he secretly wanted me but couldn’t show because I was his student. So I decided to stop being his student. I had to be his colleague. But how?
I replaced his colleague.
It was easy. It was easy to put a false rape allegation on that meek guy. I made a trap so complicated to get out of, that the poor innocent professor could do nothing. Too easy. And it was easy as well to get compensated for the pain it caused me. I joined in as a professor in his university to be with him all the time not as a student but as his friend instead.
I had given my heart and soul into keeping him happy. I helped him in his studies, attended seminars with him, discussed the world with him, maintained his paper works-every possible thing that I thought mattered to him! I used to call him for dinner everytime I tried cooking a new dish. I used to insist him to stay over but he was always reluctant. So one day while he was using the rest room in my house, I made his car break down. I broke the fuel pipe and kept him inside the house as I imagined the oil draining away from his car, in the same way as all worries were draining out from my mind. I smiled and watched him smile. He stayed back. That night I made the bed for him imagining how we would sleep together one day for the first time and then for years to come…
But then he changed. He started pushing me away. I couldn’t understand what went wrong. We were so happy together. We had everything-so many things to talk about, so much to learn together and so much to give each other. But he didn’t understand. I begged him to stay with me. I begged him to let me love him and love me back. He refused.
I told him that it pained when he told me that i can never get him. He never understood. So I cut myself to make him understand. I was ready to go further, to any extent. Even if it meant hurting myself physically to show my inner pain…
I tried everything but then, I couldn’t take it any longer so I killed him too. Yes, I killed my lover. I killed my teacher, my companion.
Her insecurities were far beyond his wildest imagination but he chose to stay; not to protect her from what she was afraid of, but to make her strong enough to face them.
He is wiser and worldlier.
So he guides her through the thorny way she walks on. He tells her to feel the wound caused by each piece of gravel, for, they would only sculpt her mind and body stronger and form memories worth remembering.
She is a dreamer.
She looses herself everytime in chasing dreams that are near to impossible and running away from horrors that do not even exist.
Yet he stands by her side, making her to stand up everytime she falls, making her wild dreams look achievable and her horrors nonsensical.
Life is promising because she knows how to be satisfied, how to be unafraid of obstacles, unaffected by happiness or sorrow and see the real world yet be a child at heart and an artist in mind.
Albeit, there is something else that scares her now- what if the man who taught her follow her dreams becomes her dream one day?? What if she looses him while chasing her dreams?
She knew she was in love again. A kind of love which carried the experience yet the madness of her first love. Yes, it can happen again-in the same, similar or a different way, nevertheless a better way. But was it in anyway better?
It broke her, made her weak. It was making her someone she wasn’t, a different person. But most importantly, it was one sided. They underestimate one sided love even when it carries weapons that can rip either of the two persons off into pieces that cannot be stitched together. One becomes scared of love, the other becomes scared to love. It forces both of them to act like there’s nothing more to it…. nothing at all. When the reality is, they are ashamed. Ashamed of confessing, committing, holding on to the friendship they had and talking about it, because they know, things are already messed up! None of them is the person himself or herself. We pretend. Ashamed of something so beautiful.
“Stop this Chhaya! This is insanity. Will you ever learn a lesson?!?! I did. You must” he said.
“Why should I? Loving someone isn’t a mistake. LOVE IS NOT A MISTAKE…the person is. But I was sure you are not.” she woke up telling to herself.